Friday, January 20, 2012

Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha

In the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park lies the Ishasha sector. For many years we have wanted to visit for the main purpose of seeing the most famous residents, tree climbing lions.  It is completely unknown why the lions of this area climb up into giant fig and acacia tree's to hang around.  The lions of Ishasha have been climbing the trees for decades and have passed the adaptation down from generation to generation. Whether they are still climbing for the same reason as when they started, again no one knows.

It was along the Fig Tree Track that we rounded a bend in the road and on the right was a huge fig tree with two lionesses draped over its large thick limbs. We parked under the tree to observe them in this rare scene, they periodically gazed down at us and then back out over the horizon. In the heat of the day and with stomachs swollen full of food they occasionally repositioned themselves in the tree.  It was truly an amazing sight to behold!

Ishasha is renowned for tree climbing lions but we were pleasantly surprised that there is more to this area of Queen Elizabeth National Park than the lions.  The landscape of Ishasha is made up of riverine forests and savannah grasslands and has a real feeling of remoteness.  Ishasha is home to the only Topi found in QENP as well as many other savannah animals. The Ishasha River to the west forms the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo and is where you will find hippos.  The Ishasha sector of QENP should not be missed, it offers a superb and unforgettable safari experience!

Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha - Photo Gallery

View from under the tree

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